This book and man changed my life. It happened several years ago. Most painters who study art know of Robert Henri and his teachings.
I accidently discovered him at a time in my life when I was struggling as an artist and painter several years ago. I had so many questions regarding my art, my direction, my style, and was even asking myself if I was good enough to keep painting. I knew deep inside I was feeling these strange burning desires to paint things that touched me. Quite honestly, I thought I was going a little crazy. I thought I was the only person feeling these unique thoughts and desires. Then...BANG! I discovered Robert Henri out of nowhere. He changed everything. I happened to come across "The Art Spirit" at a book store. It sounded interesting, so I started reading it. To be honest, I'm not much of a book reader. I just never had the patience to sit and read a novel. (Funny, I have the patience to stand and work on a canvas all day though!!) But this book was different. You can see how worn it is. I must have read this book 30 times or more in my lifetime. As you can see above, I went through and marked, checked and circled several of his quotes and teachings. This book has taught me so many things about the art life, the brotherhood of artists, techniques of painting, and has guided me with my painting throughout the years. It must have been an amazing opportunity to actually be one of his pupils, and participate in his classes. If you are an artist just starting out, or have not heard of him, you must read this book. I highly recommend you add it to your collection. It will change your life. It did mine.
Here are just a few Quotes by Robert Henri-
"When the motives of artists are profound, when they are at their work as a result of deep consideration, when they believe in the importance of what they are doing, their work creates a stir in the world."
One of my favorites: "Like to do your work as much as a dog likes to gnaw at a bone and go at it with equal interest and exclusion of everything else"
“The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”
This one hit home: “Don't worry about your originality. You couldn't get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick with you and show up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do.”
“I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.”
“Beauty is an intangible thing; can not be fixed on the surface, and the wear and tear of old age on the body cannot defeat it. Nor will a "pretty" face make it, for "pretty" faces are often dull and empty, and beauty is never dull and it fills all spaces.”
“Art tends toward balance, order, judgment of relative values, the laws of growth, the economy of living – very good things for anyone to be interested in.”
For more quotes go to: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/112030.Robert_Henri
To order the book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Spirit-Robert-Henri/dp/0465002633